Carrot Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cupcakes With Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Diana Rattray
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 18 mins
Total: 38 mins
Servings: 12 to 15 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
366 Calories
17g Fat
51g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 15
Amount per serving
Calories 366
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 250mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 4g
Calcium 89mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A creamy vanilla cream cheese frosting makes the perfect topping for these fantastic carrot cupcakes. Take these yummy cupcakes to a bake sale or bake them for a weekend treat. They're the perfect dessert for fall and winter holiday meals!

A variety of spices, some molasses, and a combination of lemon and vanilla extracts flavor the cupcakes. Vanilla bean paste was added to the pictured cream cheese frosting.

To grate the carrots, use the smallest shredding disk of your food processor or grate the carrots on a box grater.


  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (6 3/4 ounces, Spoon and Sweep Method)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or sour milk, see below)
  • 1 cup carrots (finely grated)
  • For the Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (light or regular)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • milk (as needed for consistency)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

  3. Heat the oven to 375 F.

  4. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the 1/2 cup of butter until creamy. Beat in the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and eggs until well blended. Beat in the 1 teaspoon of vanilla and lemon extract until blended.

  5. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Whisk to blend thoroughly.

  6. Beat about one-third of the dry mixture into the creamed mixture with half of the buttermilk. Repeat with another one-third of the dry mixture and the remaining buttermilk. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat for about 1 minute. Stir in the grated carrots until well blended.

  7. Fill the prepared muffin cups about two-thirds full.

  8. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until the cupcake springs back when touched lightly with a finger, or a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

  9. Cool the carrot cupcakes in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Make the Frosting

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with 4 tablespoons of butter until smooth and creamy. Add about 1 pound -- or 3 1/2 cups -- of confectioners' sugar and the vanilla bean paste or extract. Beat on low speed until combined.

  3. Add enough milk, if necessary, for consistency, or add more confectioners' sugar if too thin. Beat until creamy.

  4. Frost the cupcakes with a spatula or put the frosting in a piping bag with a star tip -- or another fancy decorating tip -- and pipe it onto the cupcakes. 


  • Buttermilk Replacement: Use soured milk if you don't have buttermilk. Put 1 teaspoon of vinegar in a liquid measuring cup and then add milk to the 1/3 cup line. Mix and let stand for about 5 minutes. Use to replace the buttermilk in this recipe.